It’s hard not to like Scott Swinton. Dressed from head to toe in a star-studded suit, he stands alone on the bare stage with nothing more than two microphones and an iPad. His show, Karaoke Saved My Life, chronicles life experiences he’s had from time spent in Texas, Detroit, New York, and now London. It’s currently appearing this week at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.
After each personal story, he invites an audience member to sing the song that relates to his tale. Radiohead, Whitney Houston, The Killers, The Rembrandts, R.E.M., Journey, and Frankie Valli are just a few of the various artists who have shaped him.
Swinton has an immediate likeability and is completely self-aware of how corny he is. Yet he thrives on this fact. With his gentle, folksy quality and carefree manner, he’s a cheery combination of Mister Rogers and Liberace. Furthermore, he proves his kindness by sharing the spotlight with his ticket buyers, most of whom are Karaoke hounds.
Swinton is a fascinating character and has some terrific stories. One only wishes that they were a bit more focused. At times, he meanders before returning to the punchline. With a little more tightening and a focused narrative, the 60-minute show could improve.
Ultimately, our master of ceremonies convinces us of the communal power of music. It unites us. It celebrates us. Sometimes, it even saves us.
For more information on Karaoke Saved My Life, visit Swinton’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/karaokesavedmylife/
*This review is part of Manhattan Digest’s continuous coverage of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Stay tuned for more reviews through August 27th!